What is your name and what is your horror area of interest?
I’m Steven P. Unger. As a nonfiction horror writer, I’m interested in the process of creation employed by other classic horror writers I admire, especially Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker. Fortunately, there already has been a lot of research into the lives of both Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley, since their books are so universally familiar. In fact, Dracula is the second most widely-read book in the world, after the Bible!
What is your work in HAGL2 about?
“A Vampire’s Guide To Transylvania” is an updated description from a previously published work of only one of the sites recommended in Transylvania: the city of Bistriţa and the Borgo Pass that leads to the Castle of Count Dracula.
Completed in 1983, before the overthrow of Nicolae Ceauşescu, whose brutal, cult-of-personality brand of Communist rule lasted from 1965 to 1989, the Hotel Castel Dracula is situated at the top of the Borgo Pass, exactly where the Count’s castle is located in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Although the Hotel Castel Dracula is a modern hotel with all the expected conveniences (including hot cocoa in its restaurant, which I really, really needed after my walk in the freezing altitude of the Borgo Pass), its brickwork and architecture is evocative of the crumbling medieval fortress depicted in the novel.
“A Vampire’s Guide to New Orleans” is a collection of New Orleans’ vampire lore that reaches back to the earliest days of the city. Ask any member of the Old Families who the first vampires to come to New Orleans were, and they’ll tell you the same: It was the Casket Girls. Much of the population that found their way to New Orleans in the early 1700s were unwelcome anywhere else: deported galley slaves and felons, trappers, gold-hunters, and petty criminals. People who wouldn’t be noticed if they went missing.
“People who wouldn’t be noticed” have continued to disappear through the centuries in New Orleans, the numbers rising precipitously whenever the immortal Compte de St. Germain is spotted around town.
There is no one who has done more to bring the vampire into the New Age than Anne Rice, who died on 12/11/21 (a backwards and forwards date) at the age of eighty. Born and bred in New Orleans, her novel Interview with the Vampire and the films and books that followed were filled with New Orleans locations and references. Those who profited mightily from the popularity of True Blood and Twilight owe her a great debt.
What is your favorite horror subject and why?
I never get tired of pre-Code horror comics (the best of which you still can read on this great New Zealand Web site—http://thehorrorsofitall.blogspot.co.nz/. They were the precursors of the graphic novels of today, with comparably inspiring artwork drawn on a tight monthly schedule. The only drawback? Every statement in the story ends with an exclamation point! Sometimes three!!!
What are you looking forward to in the horror genre?
As a travel writer, I’d like to see more location filming in both scripted media and documentaries, so that people will be motivated to go to places where horrific events maybe happened, and to places where their favorite horror movies were filmed or where their favorite horror novels take place.
Where can readers/listeners find your work?
The best place to find whichever of my books is in print is https://www.amazon.com/Steven-P.-Unger/e/B007MAM64E.
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